The Google Cardboard and DODOcase Virtual Reality Viewer are neat, inexpensive ways to experience Immersive Virtual Reality with head tracking navigation. I wanted to find some great examples of VR Apps and especially to create a custom VR environment from my personal travels. This instructable reveals some of what I found and shows you how to create a 360 degree panorama (called a Photo Sphere) of your own.
DODOcase Virtual Reality What is it?
The DODOcase Virtual Reality Cardboard Toolkit is a low-cost ($25) Smartphone adapter based on the Google Cardboard project. What's neat about using a DoDoCase VR viewer is that you don't have to scroll around to experience an app, your full peripheral vision is filled with the image and you simply navigate normally by turning your head and all looking around.
Assemble the Kit
Assembly is easily done in less than 10 minutes. Instructions are included, but you can probably assemble yours by just watching the video found on this page.
Step 1: Which Apps Are Available and How Do I Create Custom Images?
What VR apps are already available?
- Roller Coaster Apps. I found a great way to get people to understand the VR experience (and bring a smile to their faces) is to show them a Virtual Reality Roller coaster. Two that I have tried include Dive City Coaster and Roller Coaster VR
- Google Cardboard. The defacto place to start is with the Google Cardboard App. One less than obvious thing about this app is you tilt the viewer to the side to control some menu navigation. With Google Cardboard you get:
- Tour Guide - experience a 360 view guided tour of the palace of Versailles
- Exhibit - look above, below and around various museum artifacts
- Windy Day - (didn't work on my phone) a made-for-phone/tablet animated short with an immersive experience Earth - zoom into various 3D renditions of earth including Bryce Canyon and Chicago
- You Tube - a virtual wall of TouTube videos to chose from
- Photo Sphere - experience 360 degree images
- Street Vue - a breakneck speed auto tour of French cities, use the magnetic button to stop so you can look around.
How Do I Create my Own Custom Environment?
Since Photo Spheres are 360 degree, in all directions, images, I thought it would be cool to record some of my favorite places as Photo Spheres. I found that on Android it's easy using the default Google Camera app, and on iPhone the Video Sphere app does a great job.
It's very easy to create a a Photo Sphere panorama.
- Install the Google Camera App
- use the left hand side menu to choose the Photo Sphere mode.
- Now simply stand in one place and slowly rotate your camera around lining up the focus circles, when you align these dots and circles, the camera automatically takes the image, when you've completed all the pictures required, the camera will merge the images and format the photo sphere for you.
I'm including 2 Photo Spheres I made on a friend's deck. You can see how it looks in VR Viewer and as a jpeg, or download it and install it on VR viewer for yourself, or follow this Link to see the Photosphere online
Thanks for checking out my Instructable and good luck on all your projects!